( A friend sent me this...the reference at the end is, I believe, just a suggestion, not the source of it (this was put together by someone independ- ently).. )
[Ed: Many of these are not what is traditionally called an oxymoron on the net, but they are mostly worth it.]
Ancient Greek : Oxus = "sharp" Moros = "dull"
"Oxymoron" = a sharp dullness or a foolish wise.
...a self contradicting phrase. _____
When large numbers of men are unable to find work, unemployment results. Calvin Coolidge
For those who like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing they like. Abraham Lincoln
That that is is.
Why is this thus ? What is the reason for this thusness ?
Ah well, they say its not as bad as they say it is.
I'd give my right arm to be ambidextrous.
Left Handed Screwdrivers.
It was as bad as being up a creek in a barbed wire canoe.
...about as useful as a chocolate teapot.
I want my bedroom painted sky-blue pink.
That shoe fits him like a glove.
I wouldn't be paranoid if everyone didn't pick on me.
Plastic lemons, rubber bones, bricked-up windows, artificial grass, plastic flowers, invisible ink.
People have one thing in common: they are all different.
It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech. Mark Twain
The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be. Paul Valery
When one has good health it is not serious to be ill. Francis Blanche
Is there life before death ? Belfast Graffito
Often it is fatal to live too long. Racine
The first condition of immortality is death. Stanislaw Lec
As famous as the unknown soldier.
Anyone who isn't confused here doesn't really know what's going on.
I must follow the people. Am I not their leader ? Benjamin Disraeli
The saddest moment in a person's life comes but once.
A commercial traveller was passing through a small town when he came upon a huge funeral procession. "Who died?" he asked a nearby local. "I'm not sure," replied the local, " but I think its the one in the coffin."
The dumplings in a dream are not dumplings, only dreams.
He lived his life to the end.
You always find something in the last place you look.
A woman met a man walking along the street wearing only one shoe. "Just lost a shoe ?" she asked. He answered, "Nope, just found one."
Classified add: For Sale: Man's suit, perfect fit.
It is well to remember that the entire universe, with one trifling exception, is composed of others. John Andrew Holmes
Some painters transform the sun into a yelow spot; others transform a yellow spot into the sun. Pablo Picasso
Beyond each corner new directions lie in wait. Stanislaw Lec
My play was a complete success. The audience was a failure.
My life has a superb cast but I can't figure out the plot. Ashleigh Brilliant
A man can do what he wants, but not want what he wants. Arthur Schoperhauer
Brain: an apparatus with which we think we think. Ambrose Bierce
You can observe a lot just by watchin'. Yogi Berra
In these matters the only certainty is that nothing is certain. Pliny the Elder
The English certainly and fiercly pride themselves in never praising themselves. Wyndham Lewis
I have made mistakes, but have never made the mistake of claiming I never made one. James G. Bennet
Hegel was right when he said that we learn from history that man can never learn anything from history. George Bernard Shaw
Trapped, like a trap in a trap. Dorothy Parker
I am not sincere, even when I say I am not. Jules Renard
You've no idea of what a poor opinion I have of myself, and how little I deserve it. W.S. Gilbert
Great Rules for writing from William Safire in the New York Times.
Do not put statements in the negative form. And don't start sentences with a conjunction. It is incumbent on one to avoid archaisms. If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do. Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all. De-accession euphemisms. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is. Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky. Never, ever use repetitive redundancies. Also, avoid awkward or affected alliteration. Last, but not least, avoid cliche's like the plague.
I used to be indecisive, now I'm not sure.
Graffitti seen in Pompeii : Everyone writes on the walls but me.
Hypochondria is the one disease I have not got.
I've told you for the fifty-thousandth time, stop exagerating.
Young Man: Why do philosophers ask so many questions? Old Philosopher: Why shouldn't philosophers ask so many questions?
What is the world to a man who's wife is a widow.
A stone was placed at a ford in a river with the inscription: "When this stone is covered it is dangerous to ford here."
In the city today the temperature rose to 180 degrees. This sudden rise of temperature was responsible for the intolerable heat.
"Have you lived in this village all your life?" "No, not yet."
"Who is the oldest inhabitant of this village?" "We haven't got one; we had one, but he died three weeks ago."
"Hey, somebody cut the end off this rope!"
"Hey, Trixie, what's your earliest memory?" "Umm... I don't remember!"
Overheard in hotel: "It's eight o'clock, sir!" "Why the devil didn't you tell me that before?"
Inform all the troops that communications have completely broken down. Ashleigh Brilliant
There is only one difference between a madman and me. I am not mad. Salvador Dali
Nobody goes to that restaurant anymore. It's too crowded.
Just the omission of Jane Austen's books alone would make a fairly good library out of a library that hadn't a book in it. Mark Twain
I tripped over a hole that was sticking up out of the ground.
Quotes from Samuel Goldwyn, immigrant turned famous movie producer:
Quick as a flashlight.
It rolled off my back like a duck.
(When told his son was getting married) Thank heaven. A bachelor's life is no life for a single man.
A hospital is no place to be sick.
Our comedies are not to be laughed at.
I can give you a definite perhaps.
(when told a script was full of old cliches) Let's have some new cliches.
("You say you've never mad a picture before?") Yes, but that's our strongest weak point.
Gentleman, include me out.
A verbal contract is'nt worth the paper its printed on.
I can tell you in two words: im possible.
(on being told that a friend had named his son Sam, after him) Why did you do that ? Every Tom, Dick and Harry is named Sam!
I paid too much for it, but its worth it.
Gentlemen, for your information, I have a question to ask you.
I read part of it all the way through.
If I could drop dead right now, I'd be the happiest man alive.
I never put on a pair of shoes until I've worn them at least five years.
Let's bring it up to date with some snappy nineteenth century dialogue.
Goldwyn: What kind of dancing does Martha Graham do? Associate: Modern dancing. Goldwyn: I don't want her then, modern dancing is so old fashioned.
I don't think anyone should write their autobiography until after they're dead.
Bookkeeper: Mr. Goldwyn, our files are bulging with paperwork we no longer need. May I have your permission to destroy all records before 1945? Goldwyn: Certainly. Just be sure to keep a copy of everything.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist ought to have his head examined.
(on a film set of a tenement) Goldwyn : Why is everything so dirty here? Director : Because it's supposed to be a slum area. Goldwyn : Well, this slum cost a lot of money. It should look better than an ordinary slum.
Gentlemen, listen to me slowly.
That's the trouble with directors - always biting the hand that lays the golden egg.
Keep a stiff upper chin.
We have all passed a lot of water since then.
... we have that Indian scene. We can get the Indians from the resevoir.
(in discussing Lillian Helman's play, "The Children's Hour") Goldwyn : Maybe we ought to buy it? Associate : Forget it, Mr. Goldwyn, its about Lesbians. Goldwyn : That's okay, we'll make them Americans.
Don't worry about the war. It's all over but the shooting.
Associate : Its to caustic for film. Goldwyn : To hell with the cost, if it's a good story, I'll make it.
More sample and analysis (including a collection of visuals) can be found in "More on Oxymoron" by Patrick Hughes, 1983, Penguin books.